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printed November 28, 2015
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Review: Samsung Intensity II

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Even though the music player on the Intensity II is simple, the experience could be confusing or frustrating at times. First, the phone had a hard time recognizing my song files. I had to place them in the specially marked My_Music folder, but even then the phone mistakenly read the invisible system files that the Mac OS appends as song files, leaving me with a library half-filled with unplayable junk listings. The library could be counterintuitive. When I clicked on an artist name, the phone started playing songs instead of showing me a list of tracks. It was my fault, I didn't notice the "View" option that had appeared above the left soft key, but this behavior just didn't feel natural.

Once a song is playing, the music player itself is bare and ugly. There are a few skins available, but they don't help much. There's an album artwork skin, but not all of my artwork appeared. There's an visualizer skin that presents a moving EQ, but the EQ bars couldn't keep up with the music, so it wasn't appealing. There's a mysterious "Lyrics" skin, but no lyrics appeared for me, even when I loaded a track that I knew had lyrics embedded in the file.

The phone uses a non-standard 2.5mm headphone jack, so I couldn't listen to tunes with my own earbuds. I tried listening through the speaker, but the speaker distorted at higher volumes. It sounded clear until I reached the upper limit, so for softer listening it will suffice. The phone also worked with my Bluetooth stereo speakers, so wireless playback is always an option.

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